I was just reading a post from mamamilk about a hebrew digestion prayer, and it made me think about blessing food before we eat it.
Disclaimer: this is not a religious thing. At least not for me anyway! But for some people it probably is, and that’s okay too!
Anyway, I was thinking that if anyone wanted to share their short blessings they say before they eat, they would be really nice to read. I think that food blessings are especially nice for children :)
Anyway, here is the one that we say in my family. We’ve been saying it since my daughter was 4 or so. My husband and I wanted to think of one that really affirmed the connection between food and our bodies:
“God bless this food, we’re about to receive, into our bodies, and will become us.”
That’s it. I never eat without saying it..
Here is another one that we used to sing with the children when I worked at a Waldorf school. I think it is especially beautiful:
“For leaves so tall, and skies so blue, for friends and food, We thank you” and then we would say, “blessings on this food and upon the hands of those who made it.”
Does anyone else have any others to share?
My husband and I always say blessings before we eat our food but it is actually a prayer to God. It’s really nice anyway though because it forces us to stop thinking about whatever we were thinking about and really just let everything go and enjoy our food. Very peaceful. It’s also brings us close together because we’re both focused on one thing at that moment.
Great for families.
In the meditation group where I belong we every time offer our meal to the Supreme saying: “Food is God”
I give a (nontheistic) mental thanks every time I eat. It’s a feeling of total gratefulness to the universe that I can provide for myself, that I have access to nutritious food when so many go without.
Nice thoughts TJAB. Yes. In our house, we bless God and thank Him for His provision.
I really like the concept of Hebrew blessings because there are blessings (like one sentence) for the type of nourishment you are eating or drinking – there’s one for vegetable, for fruit, for grain, for wine, for smelling fruit or spices even! It’s really quite lovely. And typically the blessing is focused more on blessing God Himself for the food. And also, grace is said after meals as well, in acknowledgement that God is the One providing sustenance.
From a website (lovely thoughts): Chassidic teachings explain that all food contains a G-dly spark of holiness. When we say a blessing before eating, and eat with the intention to serve G-d, we actually elevate the physical substance of the food into holiness. This holy spark, which is inherent in the food, becomes reunited with its Divine source.
Years ago I did volunteer work at a small Camphill village in Germany – Dorfgemeinschaft Lehenhof in Deggenhausertal.
It was great. It was a self-supported little community of physically & mentally challenged individuals and family-like support staff.
It reminded me of a kibbutz…
They had their own bakery, agriculture, greenhouses, dairy, wool-spinning etc…
And all of the ‘villagers’, as they were called, got to learn how to maximize their creativity ie—to play musical instruments or learn how to spin wool if they wanted etc..
We as volunteers worked along with the villagers in their daily work duties.. either harvesting crops or working in the bakery, greenhouse, dairy etc… or doing some house chores or meal preparation.
The villagers lived in family-style (not institutional) group homes with ‘parents’ who ran the house.
Before each meal we would briefly hold hands at the table and simply say “Wir danken” (“We give thanks”).
It was a nice (non-denominational) expression of gratitude. Peaceful & simple.
It was (& is) a very special place to me because I have an older sister who is mentally challenged.
Thank you for this food you have given me for my body. Bless it and sanctify it.
Oh, greenghost, I’ve always wanted to work at a camphill village. My friend, an anthroposophist and former waldorf teacher is studying medicine so that he can start one in Oregon soon. I can’t wait. It sounds like you had such a beautiful experience there :)
I love working with people with disabilities, they are such a gift and we have so much to learn from them.
Thanks jellibi yes it was great. I enjoyed the experience so much that I did it again 2 years later.
The plans that your anthroposophist friend has sound really promising.
All the best to you too!